Squirt Minor Wins MLK!
The DYHA Squirt Minor team went 6-0 over the MLK weekend en route to the Arvada, Colorado all Squirt tournament title. The team saved their best hockey for the semi-final and final games winning both games by a score of 3-0. The tournament title was keyed by the team’s balanced attack. Both goaltenders earned three victories including a shutout. The defense was outstanding and were often responsible for team’s potent offensive play. Every forward on the team had at least 5 offensive points. Each victory and the tournament result was clearly a unified team effort.
The semi-final game against the Denver Pioneers saw each offensive line contribute a goal. Arik Altman started the scoring 8 minutes into the game, taking a pass from Blake Kenner and blasting it past the Pioneer goalie. Late in the second period Michael Burke buried a one-timer on a centering pass from Joe Nermyr. Stephen Sica put the game out of reach with five minutes remaining, taking a rink wide feed from Sean McBride, sliding the puck past the Denver net minder. Firebird goaltender Manu Carrasco made four point blank saves and the defenseman did their job by allowing only seven shots on goal. The team’s relentless pressure was the key to their fifth tournament victory and earned them a spot in the afternoon finals.
The finals put the Firebirds up against a tough Aspen team that defeated the Denver Pioneers team 5-3 during tournament play. The Aspen goaltender was outstanding, turning away 10 shots in a scoreless 1st period. The Firebirds continued to apply relentless pressure and were rewarded with 4 minutes remaining in the 2nd. Stone Fredrickson intercepted a neutral ice pass and blasted a shot from the top of the circle, Sean McBride crashed the net and buried the rebound giving the boys a 1-0 lead. The team saved their best hockey of the tournament for the 3rd period posting 19 shots on goal during the final frame. With five minutes remaining, Arik Altman found the back of the net taking a pass from Cameron Ferraz on an offensive face-off. One minute later Kelton Chadwick on a terrific break out pass found Michael Burke streaking down the wing, Burke stepped over the blue line and rifled a wrist shot by the goalie putting the game and the tournament on ice for the Firebirds along with procuring a shutout for goaltender Nate Flores.
Other notable accomplishments during the tournament saw defenseman Christopher Vo, Trey Morris, Matt Ryan, Dylan Gordon, Stone Fredrickson and Blake Kenner play at the highest level during the tournament. Collectively the defenseman were the most valuable players of the tournament. Center man Ryan Koshiol had five assists during the tournament and was unstoppable on face-offs. AJ Fryer had the tournaments only playmaker setting up his teammates 3 times against the Colorado Springs team.
A great tournament for the boys with memories both on the ice and off the ice that are sure to last a lifetime.